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Advanced vascular function discovered in a widespread moss


Brodribb, TJ and Carriqui, M and Delzon, S and McAdam, SAM and Holbrook, NM, Advanced vascular function discovered in a widespread moss, Nature Plants, 6, (3) pp. 273-279. ISSN 2055-0278 (2020) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited 2020

DOI: doi:10.1038/s41477-020-0602-x


The evolution of terrestrial plants capable of growing upwards into the dry atmosphere profoundly transformed the Earth. A transition from small, 'non-vascular' bryophytes to arborescent vascular plants during the Devonian period is partially attributed to the evolutionary innovation of an internal vascular system capable of functioning under the substantial water tension associated with vascular water transport. Here, we show that vascular function in one of the most widespread living bryophytes (Polytrichum commune) exhibits strong functional parallels with the vascular systems of higher plants. These parallels include vascular conduits in Polytrichum that resist buckling while transporting water under tension, and leaves capable of regulating transpiration, permitting photosynthetic gas exchange without cavitation inside the vascular system. The advanced vascular function discovered in this tallest bryophyte family contrasts with the highly inefficient water use found in their leaves, emphasizing the importance of stomatal evolution enabling photosynthesis far above the soil surface.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Plant biology
Research Field:Plant physiology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
UTAS Author:Brodribb, TJ (Professor Tim Brodribb)
UTAS Author:Carriqui, M (Mr Marc Carriqui Alcover)
ID Code:152532
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:34
Deposited By:Research Performance and Analysis
Deposited On:2022-08-20
Last Modified:2022-09-15

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